Here's something you don't see every day: refurbished iPhones. Nevertheless, over at AT&T you can score a refurbished 8GB iPhone 3G for $149.99 with free overnight shipping. (You can get the 16GB model, in either black or white, for $249.99.)
You will, of course, have to sign up for a 2-year contract, which costs $70 per month at a bare minimum. Going the refurb route saves you 50 bucks, so it's almost like getting one month free. (Yeah, I'm reaching--that monthly tab is mighty painful for cheapskates like me.)
So, how does a refurbished iPhone differ from a new one? Here's the description AT&T provides: "Refurbished phones are previously owned devices that have been unused or lightly used and returned during the 30-day trial period. Each refurbished phone is independently quality tested and loaded with the latest software to meet current factory standards. Some refurbished iPhone 3G devices will have minor scratches."
That's true of most refurbished hardware. My bigger concern is the warranty: It's 90 days instead of one year. (Actually, AT&T says it's "90 days or more," which is confusing. I'd check with the company and/or Apple for clarification.)
What do you think? Is saving 50 bucks worth the risk of a shorter warranty? Or is this just the nudge you need to finally pull the trigger on an iPhone? I've mine for a couple months now, and while it's not perfect, I love it madly. In fact, I lurve it.
(Sorry for the back-to-back iPod/iPhone posts. Sometimes the timing just goes that way.)